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Tue 18 Jun 2019 02:42 PM

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Bahrain named among top ecosystems for female start-ups

2019 Global Startup Ecosystem Report shows 18% of start-ups in Bahrain are founded by women, more than Silicon Valley

Bahrain named among top ecosystems for female start-ups

Bahrain is one of the top 10 start-up ecosystems with the largest share of female founders, according to the 2019 Global Startup Ecosystem Report.

The report, produced by StartUp Genome in partnership with the Global Entrepreneurship Congress, showed that with 18 percent of its start-ups founded by women, Bahrain topped even Silicon Valley (16 percent) and London (15 percent).

The report also lauded Bahrain as one of the top 10 ecosystems to watch in FinTech in Europe and the Middle East and a top 15 ecosystem for affordability of qualified talent worldwide.

Khalid Al Rumaihi, chief executive of the Bahrain Economic Development Board said: “This report draws on the views of the people who know best – entrepreneurs and founders. In a very short time, Bahrain has emerged as a leading ecosystem with particular strength in FinTech.

"With both female founders and women taking leadership roles throughout the ecosystem, Bahrain is a dynamic and diverse market at the head of new trends that are shaping the way society and business operates.”

Dr Ebrahim Mohammed Janahi, chief executive of Tamkeen, Bahrain’s Labour Fund, added: “Over the past decade, Bahrain’s startup ecosystem has made significant progress where startups can access a global network of partners to scale up and capture opportunities in Bahrain and the region."

According to Janahi, more than 59 percent of women have been served as part of Tamkeen’s micro finance support, while more than 50 percent were served within the business development program, which offers a co-financing service to cover 50 percent of business equipment.

Leading female Bahraini startup founders include Hala Sulaiman and Ameera AlQubaiti, co-founders of Alrawi, a successful audiobook startup and Pitch@Palace Global 3.0 People's Choice 2018 winner.

Furthermore, Bahrain’s Al Waha Fund of Funds, a $100 million fund set up by the Bahrain Development Bank, has an all-female leadership.